What We Are Reading Today: The Patriarchs

What We Are Reading Today: The Patriarchs
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Updated 10 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: The Patriarchs

What We Are Reading Today: The Patriarchs

Author: Angela Saini

For centuries, societies have treated male domination as natural to the human species.

But how would our understanding of gender inequality look if we didn’t assume that men have always ruled over women?

In this bold and radical book, award-winning science journalist Angela Saini explores the roots of what we call patriarchy, uncovering a complex history of how it first became embedded in societies and spread across the globe from prehistory into the present.

The book also analyzes the latest research findings in science and archaeology, and traces cultural and political histories from the Americas to Asia.


What We Are Reading Today: The Man Who Caught the Storm

What We Are Reading Today: The Man Who Caught the Storm
Updated 27 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: The Man Who Caught the Storm

What We Are Reading Today: The Man Who Caught the Storm

Author: Brantley Hargrove

“The Man Who Caught the Storm” offers insight into the life and death saga of one of history’s greatest storm chasers. It is a tale of obsession, ingenuity, and the race to understand nature’s fiercest phenomenon — the tornado.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, the tornado was one of the last true mysteries of the modern world. It was a monster that ravaged the American heartland a thousand times each year, yet science’s every effort to divine its inner workings had ended in failure. Researchers all but gave up, until the arrival of an outsider.

Tim Samaras didn’t attend a day of college in his life.


What We Are Reading Today: Myanmar: Politics, Economy and Society

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Updated 26 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Myanmar: Politics, Economy and Society

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Author: Adam Simpson, Nicholas Farrelly (editors)

“Myanmar: Politics, Economy and Society” provides a sophisticated overview of the key political, economic and social challenges facing contemporary Myanmar and explains the complex historical and ethnic dynamics that have shaped the country.
The book provides a clear and incisive contribution from the world’s leading Myanmar scholars, assessing the policies and political reforms that have provoked contestation in the country’s recent history.
Questions of economic ownership and control and the distribution of natural resources are shown to be deeply informed by long-standing fractures among ethnic and civil-military relations.

The chapters analyse the key issues that constrain or expedite societal development in Myanmar and place recent events of national and international significance in the context of its complex history and social relations, according to a review on goodreads.com.

The book demonstrates that ethnic and cultural diversity is at the core of Myanmar’s society and heavily influences all aspects of life in the country.

This book will be of top interest to students, journalists and scholars of Southeast Asian politics, economics and societies.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Rescuing Socrates by Roosevelt Montas

What We Are Reading Today: Rescuing Socrates by Roosevelt Montas
Updated 25 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Rescuing Socrates by Roosevelt Montas

What We Are Reading Today: Rescuing Socrates by Roosevelt Montas

What is the value of a liberal education? Traditionally characterized by a rigorous engagement with the classics of Western thought and literature, this approach to education is all but extinct in American universities, replaced by flexible distribution requirements and ever-narrower academic specialization. Many academics attack the very idea of a Western canon as chauvinistic, while the general public increasingly doubts the value of the humanities. In “Rescuing Socrates,” Dominican-born American academic Roosevelt Montas tells the story of how a liberal education transformed his life, and offers an intimate account of the relevance of the Great Books today, especially to members of historically marginalized communities.

Montas emigrated from the Dominican Republic to Queens, New York, when he was 12 and encountered the Western classics as an undergraduate in Columbia University’s renowned Core Curriculum, one of America’s last remaining Great Books programs. The experience changed his life and determined his career—he went on to earn a PhD in English and comparative literature, serve as director of Columbia’s Center for the Core Curriculum, and start a Great Books program for low-income high school students who aspire to be the first in their families to attend college.

Weaving together memoir and literary reflection, Rescuing Socrates describes how four authors—Plato, Augustine, Freud, and Gandhi—had a profound impact on Montas’s life.


What We Are Reading Today: Trust the Plan by William Sommer

What We Are Reading Today: Trust the Plan by William Sommer
Updated 24 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Trust the Plan by William Sommer

What We Are Reading Today: Trust the Plan by William Sommer

In “Trust the Plan,” William Sommer explains the rise of QAnon, how it has gained a mainstream following Republican lawmakers and ordinary citizens, the threat it poses to democracy, and how we can reach those who have embraced the conspiracy and are disseminating its lies.

What began as a fringe online conspiracy in the mid 2000s is now embraced by millions of Americans including new members of Congress and the thousands of Trump follower who attacked the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

This timely and essential book outlines what the nation must do to address this growing danger — including how to help friends and family who have fallen under Q’s pernicious sway.


What We’re Reading Today: Invention and Innovation

What We’re Reading Today: Invention and Innovation
Updated 23 March 2023

What We’re Reading Today: Invention and Innovation

What We’re Reading Today: Invention and Innovation

Author: Vaclav Smil

The world is never finished catching up with Vaclav Smil. In his latest and perhaps most readable book, “Invention and Innovation,” the prolific author — a favorite of Bill Gates — pens an insightful and fact-filled jaunt through the history of human invention, says a review published on Goodreads.com.
Impatient with the hype that so often accompanies innovation, Smil offers in this book a clear-eyed corrective to the overpromises that accompany everything from new cures for diseases to AI.
Drawing on his vast knowledge, Smil explains the difference between invention and innovation.